Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, raises his hands during a campaign rally in Charallave, Miranda state, Venezuela. (Photographer: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg)  

Venezuelan People Will Fight Any U.S. Invasion, Maduro Says

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuelans will defend the country in the event of a U.S.-led foreign invasion President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday, as he rejected an expiring ultimatum from European countries to hold new presidential elections.

Whether there is a civil war depends on the “level of craziness and aggression of the empire in the north,” Maduro said. Venezuela’s military as well as civilian militias were preparing for an invasion, he said in an interview on Spanish network La Sexta. U.S. President Donald Trump today told CBS that military intervention in the country remains an option.

“We’re asking that no one intervenes in the internal affairs of our country and we’re getting ready to defend our country,” Maduro said.

Maduro faces the strongest challenge to his rule yet after the president of the opposition-led National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president, claiming elections in which Maduro was re-elected last year were unconstitutional. Guaido has received international support from Trump and other world leaders.

“Venezuela has done all its elections,” Maduro said. “Nobody in the world can come and disavow our constitution and our institutions and try and impose ultimatums.”

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